The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused a devastating and unprecedented shift in the food industry that has affected the entire supply chain spanning wholesale distributors and farmers. Grocery stores can’t keep up with demand, as staples like eggs and meat are flying off the shelves. Restaurants have shut down their dining rooms, offering delivery and pickup only, and a few have even turned into makeshift grocers to make up for the lack of inventory at markets.
Food distributors that supply restaurants and other commercial buyers have recognized the demand and are pivoting their operations to offer their inventory at wholesale prices to the general public. Here is a list of meat purveyors and produce suppliers that are now open to Angelenos. Most offer online ordering and pickup, and sometimes even delivery depending on the size of the order.
The third-generation family-run wholesaler located in Vernon normally services some of LA hotels and restaurant gems like Joan’s on Third, Wallys, and The Beverly Wilshire but now, the general public can order their produce online using the login and password listed on their website. Find items like a head of romaine lettuce for $1 or a tray of 30 eggs for $8. Orders must meet the $50 minimum and are will-call pick up on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at one of their 28 dock doors, or you can order delivery (within a 7-mile radius of their warehouse) through DoorDash.
The produce wholesaler partnered with delivery services like Postmates and DoorDash to offer pre-packaged grocery and produce boxes that include an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and dairy items at various prices ranging from $33 to $44. Produce boxes are also available for pick-up at a limited number of local markets and restaurants like Great Dane Bakery and Stark’s Restaurant among others.
Rose Hill Farms in Montecito Heights focuses on using organic and sustainable methods to grow microgreens and other produce that end up at kitchens across local restaurants. The small farm now packages seasonal fruits and vegetables into FarmBoxes which are available for pickup or delivery (with a $20 order minimum) using the CropSwap app. There is a $5 fee plus a $1 per mile charge ($5 flat for customers over 60 years old).
Meat and Seafood
Located in Inglewood, this meat purveyor that normally fulfills orders from restaurant clients like Bestia and Bavel is now taking phone and email orders from the public. Take advantage of wholesale prices on prime beef and cuts like filet mignon (check their website for prices). You can also score a deal on Kumamoto A5 Japanese Wagyu, the holy grail for carnivores. Their online ordering system is now up and running.
Premier Meat Company is best known for its high-quality meats sourced from local independent farms that show up on menus at BOA Steakhouse, Animal, and Nobu, to name a few. While their online shop has always been open to the public, now is a good time to stock up on some of their best-selling products like the burger patties that you’ll also find in Shake Shack burgers or any of their dry-aged meats. Currently, they’re only taking online orders (no minimums) that will be shipped to your house via FedEx. Pickup is not currently available to the public.
Primarily serving the Orange County area, West Coast Prime Meats is offering its selection of meat and seafood to the public. Orders are only available for will call pickup (or home delivery on Thursdays in the Orange County area). The food is packed in cases so consider bulk orders like the six-pack of grass-fed 12-ounce New York steak for $120 or the two-pack (6 lb. each) pork ribs for $45. Order online or over the phone before 3 p.m. for pick-up the next day, but there is a $100 order minimum.
Walk-ins are welcome at the Costco-like wholesaler in Downtown Los Angeles. Shop for meat, seafood, international ingredients, dairy products, and frozen foods. Items are packaged smaller than a case but still bulkier in size in order to pass on the savings to the public. There is no order minimum.
La Española Meats has been importing Spanish products since 1983. Spanish wine, sausages, and cured meats like Iberico ham are the specialty here. Stop by and purchase goods from their small storefront next to their warehouse in Harbor City or place an order online for shipping or over the phone for will-call pick-up.
The meat supplier in South El Monte is now opening up their warehouse to the public Monday thru Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offers meat and seafood products available for pick-up in South El Monte.
Shop from the extensive list of seafood at one of Southern California’s top seafood distributors. The retail market and cafe have always been open to the public but now you can order home delivery through a platform called Mercato. A selection of seafood like Mexican white shrimp, yellowfin tuna, wild king crab legs, and lobster tails are available as well as a limited selection of prepared foods from their cafe including ahi tuna poke or octopus salad. You can also place an order over the phone for pick-up at their Santa Monica location.
P&D Seafood offers an array of fresh and frozen seafood such as Chilean seabass, mahi mahi, Icelandic cod, and Japanese scallops available for cash and carry only. The seafood distributor is only taking orders in person at their Downtown Los Angeles warehouse and there is no order minimum required.
Specialty food items like caviar, charcuterie, and cheese which are normally more expensive can now be purchased at wholesale prices through Savory Gourmet. The gourmet distributor offers shipping, pickup at their facilities in Gardena, or free local delivery for orders over $150 and a flat rate of $10 for orders less than $150. The order form can be found here.
For 35 years, The Chefs’ Warehouse has been a national distributor to over 35,000 restaurants working with some of the top chefs in the industry including Thomas Keller, Nancy Silverton, Jose Andres, and more. The company recently announced they are selling their products online and offering free home delivery for orders over $250, or a $35 delivery fee for orders under $250. Meat, seafood, olive oils, bread, and dairy are all available from this wholesaler. Order by 5 p.m. for next business day delivery in select LA areas. If they don’t service your area for home delivery, you can also pick-up in person for orders over $100 in their City of Industry warehouse. Additionally, 10% of retail profits will benefit frontline employees of the food industry impacted by COVID-19.
The plant-based milk producer has ramped up their direct-to-consumer efforts after noticing the overwhelming strain their retail partners were facing. Oat milk and other plant-based milks have a shelf life of 90 to 365 days, much longer than traditional dairy, which has made it a popular choice among consumers these days. Order any of their plant-based milks, creamers, or cold brews for a flat delivery fee of $6 per order.